BRENTWOOD -- Patrons of The Streets of Brentwood lifestyle center will soon notice enhanced lighting in the mainparking areas, but they may have to wait a little longer for a coffee shop and more retail stores.

Last week, the Brentwood Planning Commission approved plans from the new owner, RED Legacy, to increase the pole heights of the existing lighting, change the fixtures and increase the number of heads and wattage of the light bulbs. RED Legacy representatives have said that the current lighting is too dim, fails to provide a sense of safety and causes a loss of business at night.

"When people go shopping, their sense of safety and security is really the No. 1 thing," said Steve Graham of RED Legacy. "This time of year when it is dark so early, we really see sales fall off at night."

A woman pushes a stroller as rain begins to fall over the Streets of Brentwood shopping center in Brentwood, Calif. on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. . (Sherry
A woman pushes a stroller as rain begins to fall over the Streets of Brentwood shopping center in Brentwood, Calif. on Tuesday, March 22, 2011. . (Sherry LaVars/Staff Archives)

Planning Commissioner Susan Wallace said that she is in favor of any improvements to the lighting conditions there and would also like to see future lighting along the edge of the parking lot north of Rave Cinemas.

"It is way too dark," she said. "This has been a concern. I have teenage kids and I don't want them going there at night."

RED Legacy plans to start the project in January. They said that this upgrade would improve the parking and general safety of the center.

The center's former owner, Continental Real Estate, is developing a 7,540-square-foot retail building near Red Robin and BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. It is designed to house four tenants, including a 2,000-square-foot space as a drive-thru coffee establishment, but the name of the coffee business leasing the space has not been disclosed.


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"We want this built and we want this occupied and fully leased as soon as possible," said commission chair Lance Crannell.

The Planning Commission will review Continental's application for a conditional use permit again on Jan. 15 after some parking and circulation issues are resolved. The commission said that the submitted site plan does not meet the city's minimum requirements and is lacking in the number of parking spaces, traffic calming measures and a separation between the main flow of traffic and the drive-thru component.

"We try to make sure that we do our best job in mitigating the potential for incidents happening in traffic. You have two establishments on either side that serve alcohol. That is something to consider because not everyone is responsible," commissioner John Fink said.

Continental argued that they have used this same configuration at other retail centers nationwide and that the coffee shop's peak hours will be primarily in the morning and not during prime evening hours.

"One of the biggest complaints in town is a lack of parking and horrible circulation within the parking spaces we have," Crannell said. "There are a lot of coffee drinkers in Brentwood and we are there all the time."

Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.